Grand Illusions by Richard Lawton (1983)

  • Grand Illusions
  • by Richard Lawton (1983)
  • with a text by Hugo Leckey
  • BONANZA BOOKS New York

Grand Illusions represents a selection of the most beautiful photographs to emerge from Hollywood’s Golden Years. Their exquisite effects reflect the time and money lavished on every aspect of their production; the exotic beauty of their subjects speaks so tellingly of fantasies on which Hollywood balanced its success.

These photographs have been selected for their esthetic properties, and suggest where possible the range of images conjured through each decade. There has been no attempt to provide an exhaustive catalogue of movie personalities, while obviously, stars such as Lillian Gish and Marlene Dietrich are so clearly avatars, several portraits of them seemed irresistible.

Such a collection necessarily ends in the decade of the forties. After that time, the advent of candid photography and the financial decline of the big studios seldom allowed, and indeed discouraged, the calculated image-making of earlier decades. The photographs presented here were found mostly in private collections, remnants of a past whose luster is still fabulous. (Richard Lawton 1973)

Lillian Gish – Ice Floe Scene – Way Down East

Lillian Gish in “Way Down East” 1920

Lillian Gish in ‘’La Boheme’’ 1926

The Scarlet Letter – Lillian Gish and Lars Hanson

Lillian Gish and Lars Hanson in ‘’Scarlet Letter’’ 1926

Title: WAY DOWN EAST Pers: GISH, LILLIAN Year: 1920 Dir: GRIFFITH, D.W. Credit: [ THE KOBAL COLLECTION / UNITED ARTISTS ]

Lillian Gish and Lowell Sherman in ‘’Way Down East’’ 1920

Lillian Gish and Blanche Payson in ‘’La Boheme’’ 1926

Lillian Gish and Blanche Payson in ‘’La Boheme’’ 1926

The Lily and The Rose (1915) – Lillian Gish

Lillian Gish in ‘’The Lily and the Rose’’ 1915

Robert Harron and Lillian Gish

Lillian Gish and Robert Harron 1919

Lillian Gish in ‘’Romola’’ 1924

Admin note: Some of the photographs presented in the book were replaced (above) with better resolution versions.

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